Saturday, April 23, 2011

Operation Relaunch Career Unveiling Party / Fundraising Event

We all had a fabulous night at the Carmichael Salon, not only presenting an unveiling of our 3 ORC winners, but also celebrating their successes with the ORC Team Members, clients, family, neighbors and friends. And so many people and organizations to thank. Stay tuned for photos and video from this special evening.

And not only did we get to share the successes with everyone, we also were able to raise funds to help Support for Families of Children with Disabilities.

And along with our ORC Team Members donating their time and talents, we'd also like to thank the following people for donating time and services:

Josh Alexander CMT

Abigail Baker

Blick Art Supplies

Chaos Tamer/Rhea Abahazy

Charles Communications/Kimberly Charles

Cheeko B/Kattya Breitenbach

Honey Honey Cafe and Crepery

Huntington Hotel

Liam Mayclem

Meyerovich Gallery

Mission Beach Cafe/Bill Clarke

Nancy Mueller Photography

San Francisco Building and Home Cleaning/Luis Ramirez

ThriveSF/Andrew Duffy

Total Staffing Solutions, Inc./Cindy Fassler

Without their support we could not have done it all. Thank you.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

A Renewed Sense of Hope

Hello blog friends. Sorry that I've been away, but now that I am a working woman again, life has been very busy. I have to say that I am thrilled to be working and am happy to be busy learning new things, rebuilding my skills, meeting new people and collecting a paycheck again.

I can't express enough how wonderful and helpful the journey has been with the Operation Relaunch Career "Dream Team" members.

My most recent experience has been working with Dr. Jeannie Tsai, meeting with her and her pleasant staff for a consultation. I do have to admit I was very nervous and a bit anxious about working with Dr. Tsai, but she made me feel very comfortable with her pleasant and professional manner. I was given literature to read and browsed through a binder of "before and after" photos of her clients. She let me know that I did not have to do anything I didn't want to do, and that it was totally up to me as to which procedures would be done.

Right away we discussed the many options available to me and she recommended a procedure using Juvaderm. She explained that with most women my age, gravity starts taking over, and that I had lost a lot of muscle around my mouth, which was creating what most people refer to as jowls around the mouth, as well as deep creases around my nose area. This gives the appearance of frowning and she felt that Juvaderm would be helpful.

After getting all this information I knew I had some big decisions to make. And then after talking to some family and friends and discussing the recommended procedures and the possible side effects, I decided to work with Dr. Tsai.

I made an appointment for the following week and have to say that looking back, it was pretty painless. Dr. Tsai once again reassured me that the results would be well worth it and that everything would be fine, and it was! She walked me through the whole procedure explaining step-by-step what she was doing and didn't proceed with anything without my permission.

I have to say that I like what I now see in the mirror and the changes are so subtle that people haven't really taken any notice. They know something is different, but don't know what that is until I tell them.

Thank you Dr. Tsai. You earned my trust and so generously gave your gift of youth to us and made us all feel beautiful in our own skin again. I am so very thankful tht I have been given this opportunity and to be on the receiving end of such wonderful and generous gifts. It may not show on the outside, but inside, my heart is beaming with gratitude and most of all . . . a renewed sense of hope and desire to move forward and start living the new life I have been handed.

Eva Shinn

Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Reveal Week - Fitness

Hi everyone, it's personal trainer Andrew signing in.

It's less than a week until the reveal party (April 21st at 6pm at the Carmichael Salon in San Francisco - yes!), and I'm meeting with Pam, Eva and Marilyn for a pre-reveal check-in.  So far, I've met with Pam and Eva, and Marilyn is scheduled for Tuesday.  (I'm looking forward to it, Marilyn!)

Pam and I met this past week.  She has good flexibility and knows that her cardio isn't her strong point, so we focused on giving her a challenge: we went for a hill walk on a beautiful San Francisco day.  It helped that we went with her dog Brody.

During a particular uphill climb, Pam and I were talking about how learning more about fitness and how personal it can be isn't only about cardio, strength training and flexibility, or the core, or weight, or bodyfat.  It's about empowerment.  Particular to Pam's situation, she's had to handle a lot of personal stressors that most people don't have to handle.  And although she hasn't been perfect with her diet or exercise routine because she's spending a lot of time and energy on dealing with those stressors, she's happy that she now has more tools to do what she needs to do when she has the time.  And she's happy with being able to handle her current stressors with grace.  I'm looking forward to the near future when Pam can really apply everything we've worked on together - she's bright and capable, and I think she'll enjoy the results like she did when we first started and she had the time.

Eva and I met this morning, and she has lost over fifteen pounds in the last three months, sometimes with no time to dedicate to exercise because she now has a job.  She walks and moves when she can, because she feels better.  Her success is largely due to her diligence with her portions and her balanced diet that includes fresh fruits and vegetables.
Today she came in saying, "I've lost weight, and now I want to start to focus on ab exercises to flatten my midsection."  That's a common thought: more stomach exercises will flatten the stomach.  And yes, they can, but there are a few important thoughts that I've shared with Eva about flattening the core:

Proper calorie intake 80% of flattening your core
Reduce the amount of bloating foods in your diet (alcohol, excess salt, processed foods) to reduce the size of your stomach
You flatten your core by using it moderately, not by doing a lot of core exercises
Your core functions best when you move your upper and lower body movement - so move your whole body for a fitter, more functional core

That means:
When eating at home or dining out, have sauces and dressings on the side.  There's a good chance you're consuming too much salt when eating out and that you're bloated.  
Drink water instead of alcohol. Even though you might be having the right amount of calories to lose weight, you will still have superficial bloat if you're drinking more than two alcoholic drinks a night.
Move your whole body in addition to performing a few exercises that focus on your core.
Eat clean, eat fresh.  It feels good!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Pamela - Operation Relaunch Life

Hi everyone. It's Pam with an update on my progress with ORC. I am deep into makeover territory now. My latest appointments have been in the city with Dr. Jeannie Tsai at the SF Aesthetics and Laser Center.

Before my initial consultation regarding filler injections with Dr. Tsai, I did alot of consulting with my friends and relatives as to whether I should even consider the procedure. On the one hand, as a natural healer type, I tend to shy away from anything artificial or potentially toxic, so I really had to weigh if this was for me. On the other hand, this is a HUGE, once-in-a-lifetime gift, and though I wouldn't have given it to myself (my financial priorities primarily being my children and their education), I rationalized that this opportunity could potentially enhance my ability to provide better for my children in the future, so I wanted to give it my full consideration.

Hearing people's opinions on this procedure was interesting. As I had expected, the more holistic, healthy types tended to give the thumbs down. Younger people tended to almost scoff, though they're the first to tattoo or pierce themselves to enhance their appearance. The men I know generally said, "you look fine the way you are, why would you want to do this."? When asking the opinion of the women my age, they were almost unanimously thumbs up, and dare I say some were even a tinge envious.

My initial meeting with Dr. Tsai was very positive and exciting. She has a lovely and easy going manner. She thoroughly explained the procedure, in which a gel is injected into areas of the face to plump up the skin where there is sagging and where tissue has been lost. The gel is composed of hyaluronic acid, a natural substance found in the body which has been chemically changed by cross-linking the molecules to make them more stable. This way the gel doesn't breakdown as quickly in the body, so the results can last months, and in some areas years. How long the filler stays put depends on how active the muscles are in that part of the face. For instance, the areas around the eyes and nose last longer than around the mouth. Dr. Tsai had reconfirmed that the risks are minimal, and she has never seen an allergic reaction to the gel.

From what I've read about filler, it's all about how skillfull and aesthetically oriented the injector is, and I trusted Dr. Tsai completely. Allowing someone to inject filler into your face requires alot of trust, and I was confident that she had not only the medical expertise, but also had the artistic sensibility to successfully remodel my face. She also showed me several  before and after photos of patients, including herself. Not only did she impress me with her competence, but her thoughtful communication and sensitivity to giving me exactly what I wanted from the procedure. Together we made a plan regarding which areas of my face to inject, and also talked about the importance of follow-up visits.

On the day of my first appointment I was quite nervous, worrying about any possible bruising and hoping I wasn't going to regret this decision in any way. Dr. Tsai had already heard all my concerns and she immediately put me at ease as she began the numbing of my lips with a topical anesthesia as they are the most sensitive area. She then began the injections on the right side of my face. After multiple injections, and many breaks in between to check out the progress in the mirror, my face did instantly look plumped up. The entire procedure took just over an hour, going by very fast, with any pain or discomfort overshadowed by my curiosity and fascination with the entire process. There was a point where we stopped and Dr. Tsai asked if this was enough or did we want to do more. We decided to do a little bit more in the lower lip and around the eyes (I can see how some people might over do this, thinking more is better). Six or seven vials of Juvaderm later, I had a new face, a face that for the most part that looked brighter and happier. We took copious amounts of before and after photos and it was very easy to see the improvements made in my lips, nasolabial folds, cheeks, forehead and around my eyes. The immediate results were pretty amazing if you study the before and after photos. But if you were to just look at the whole face, from a more gestalt perspective, the impression of improvement is more subtle.

The days following the injections there was some minor bruising and a few areas that had a lumpy feeling, and I did have to adapt to my lips feeling puffed up. On my follow up visit Dr. Tsai did notice some swelling that she said was not a problem and that would go down soon. What's amazing is that the gel can continue to be molded into place with firm pressure, and Dr. Tsai encouraged me to come in for additional follow up visits if I had any discomfort or concerns. Oddly, I have felt happier since doing the procedure, maybe relieved that it turned out so great. But also, I wonder if it's like the phenomenon people describe of putting a smile on your face and actually feeling happier, even if you didn't start out that way.

One really unexpected surprise came as a result of this procedure. People often told me that my mother and I shared a very strong resemblance. My dear mother passed away over a year ago after a long battle with brain cancer, which eroded her mind and spirit, and devastated her once bright appearance. Sadly, watching her slowly die in that way, and all the accompanying grief, left me with the experience of seeing my dying mother's face in my own reflection. But unexpectedly when I looked in the rear view mirror while driving home from my appointment with Dr. Tsai, I didn't see that sad dying face anymore. I was astonished to see the earlier me, the one before all the hardship. It felt like having a reset, a fresh start. What an unexpected gift. Thank you to Dr. Tsai and her staff and all the wonderful people involved in Operation Relaunch Career.

Sometimes I notice it is hard for me to accept all these wonderful gifts I am being given as a result of winning this life changing contest, but please know I am filled with appreciation and gratitude, and that you all have made a wonderful difference in my life. One of my friends had even said, "Your experience should be called Operation Relaunch Life."

Pamela Mulvey

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Pam's Job Search Update

Pam is well on her way to finding herself back in the work force. Some of the things that we have done to help her achieve her goals are as follows:

<!** Revised her resume and cover letter to better reflect her skills and experience.
<!** Talked about interview questions and how to answer them.
<!** Reviewed various tips and tricks for the job search process for her very specific chiropractic field.
<!** Discussed how her interviewing attire should reflect both comfort and the holistic side of her field  with natural fibers. Also about how she should avoid synthetic perfumes and strong scents.
<!** Follow-up strategies once she’s applied and interviewed for various positions.

So far she’s had two interviews and one offer that was not a good fit for what she was looking for. She is currently submitting her resume for qualified positions that fit her experience. 

Operation Relaunch Career Unveiling Party

Mark your calendars to help us celebrate the unveiling of our lovely ORC winners.

Thursday, April 21st - 6 pm to 9 pm - Come and celebrate their success while
benefiting Support for Families with Children and Disabilities (SFCD).

It will be a special night with LOTS of special surprises, including a silent auction,
celebrity bartender . . . . . you won't want to miss this.

No need to RSVP, but we'd love to hear if you'll be joining us for this fun evening.
Email to:

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Catching up on the Blog

Hi Everyone! It's Pam again with an update.

Since my last post I have gone through an extended interview process, which has been a great learning experience and a confidence-builder.  As Cindy Fassler has pointed out, I am interviewing the prospective employers as well, to determine if the job is a good fit for me. As it turned out, this wasn't the job for me, but I am feeling well prepared for the next interview, which I hope will be soon!

Micki Turner, our dream team fashion consultant, met with us at Cindy Fassler's office to discuss wardrobe ideas.

It was fun getting together, and Micki was very helpful. She gave some feedback a few outfits and helped me create a short list of items to purchase in order to present myself more professionally, which includes a tote (to replace my overly casual handbag and accommodate a resume folder). I also need appropriate shoes, such as flats or wedges in a neutral color (apparently"nude" is in!), plus a cardigan which is a nice, softer alternative to a blazer or jacket. She followed up with some t-shirt ideas, which  if they have a crisp neckline can look put together with accessories! Micki addressed adding more color to basic black with scarves. So basically: keep the style simple, but have some style!

Cindy has continued to be a great support in the job search, continuously giving me tips and encouragement, such as recommending that I send a hand written thank you note following an interview. It helps that she acknowledges the process, and emphasizes building one's sense of self-worth.

There's much more to catch up on next time. I need to get back on my training schedule, which has been hard to keep up with so many other demands on my time. I promised Andrew Duffy I'd get in at least 2 workouts per week.

Until then, best to all.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Thank You Dream Team Volunteers with the Heart & Soul of Gold

Hi Operation Relaunch Career Followers!

This is Marilyn Chelini, a very grateful winner of Operation Relaunch Career.
I know I haven't updated in a while.  It seems like I do so much writing in my work, I don't really want to do too much on  my own time.

But this is a long time in coming. Before I start writing about my progress, I want to recognize each Dream Team volunteer individually, as they are giving their time and product/services without charge.  All to make a difference in MY life.  This is just a awesome opportunity which I have been given.  I hope these words express how I feel about entering and winning this contest.  In one word, WINNING!

Thanks to Russel Thompson and Angela Berk of the Carmichael Salon.  Angela has changed my hair forever, along with my buddy Mick Aguilera (you'll always be Mickey to me!) Sandy Hinojosa, Rebekah Nummer, Tania Aragon, Nikko Villanueva and Yvonne Franklin. I love you guys!

Andrew Duffy, CPT...what can I say about Andrew.  Patience of the Saints and motivates me to be the best I can thru diet and exercise.  What a nasty word "diet" is!  Before coming to Andrew, I had a broken leg at the end of 2009.  After nine weeks in a cast and put into a walking boot, I fell down my stairs and shattered my heel, ankle, and tore Achilles Tendon and broke my arm.  After surgery to put Humpty Dumpty back together again, 6 months of PT, I had to wear ortho shoes when walking. Now I workout with my EasyTones!  I feel great! Andrew, you're the best!!! Big Hug!!

When I met up with Cindy Fassler, she understood what I am going to achieve.  After 30 years doing Operations/Business Development, I want to get a law degree.  Cindy took my resume and picked out the things that would help me in my career change.  Cindy is marketing me as a "law assistant" while I start school again. Team TSS is a very special employment placement company.  Just the best.

Dr Julie Karnazes, cosmetic Dentist, whitened my teeth.  I had trays from several years ago so Dr. Julie provided me with product and x-rays.  They have whitened.  I need to drink coffee from a straw now.  Thank you very much Team Julie Karnazes (Never mind that I got towed by the Municipal Transit Authority after my last 20 minute appointment with Julie-$575.00 to get my car back!).

And Micki Turner, you really did give me a lot to think about.  I thought you were going to suggest a blue business suit.  Yuck!!!! Not me at all.  You were able to recognize my "style or lack thereof" but what makes me feel comfortable.  I will definitely contact you when I "dress for success.!  Thank You!

To Dr. Jeannie Tsai, you're a sweetheart.  I had some trepidation about fillers and botox, but I trusted you so I just went for you.  You told me I had good genes with minimal wrinkles and good bone structure.  I am so pleased as t the way my face looks.  So subtle that no one notices, except me.  You team is just awesome!

The last member of the Dream Team is Dr Dino Elyassnia, who I will be working with soon.

All of the people I mentioned are selfless and believe in this program.  I cannot begin to thank all for making me feel good about myself.  Of course, I am a work in progress.

On a final note,  my progress is so much more my internal image has improved so much, the external image follows.  Even when my bro tells me I have a "puffy face" (and I don't) I take it in stride.  I don't expect to look like what I did in high school, but to accept my age and do the things that make me feel better.  (and I love it when people assume I'm in my 30'S)  Now that's WINNING, DUH!!
Signing off for now,

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


Hi All! It's Pam with an update on my progress with Operation Relaunch Career.

Since my last post, I have had a great outdoor session with Andrew Duffy, where he not only helped me to get started on more aerobic training, but also made some valuable recommendations for rehabilitating a hamstring injury that I have been struggling with. I always learn something from Andrew!

Cynthia Fassler from TSS has been very supportive and coached me through my first interview, making recommendations on how to present myself, including what to wear, questions to ask, what personal information to reveal (or not). I felt okay about the interview. I got some feedback that I presented myself with good energy and even came across extroverted (which I am not), however I felt I was too personal and familiar. It occurred to me that in my previous life as a "stay-at-home-mom", I am used to a certain chit-chatty way of communicating which is friendly yet undirected, like striking up a random conversation in the supermarket. What I need to learn is to speak in a more business-like manner, controlling my agenda and redirecting back to my purpose, which is finding suitable employment. Practicing interviewing with Cynthia is definitely helpful. I like her clarity and her business sense!

Additionally, I have been appointments with dentist, Dr. Julie Karnazes, and plastic surgeon, Dr. Dino Ellyassnia, who have so generously donated their services.

Dr. Karnazes office is perched on the top floor of 450 Sutter with breathtaking views of downtown and the bay. What a place to come to work! I was welcomed by her staff, Pamela and Jamie, who were very helpful and kind. Dr. Karnazes herself was extremely thorough, compassionate, and gentle. After examining my teeth, she determined I was a candidate for tooth whitening, so molds were taken, and I am to perform the process at home over a 5 day period. All is going smoothly, except in my enthusiasm I put too much of the whitening gel into the trays the first day and got a mild burn from the bleach! Oh well, now I have skills and have learned. So far the results are looking good!

A few days later I visited Dr. Ellyassnia at his office also at 450 Sutter, this time on the 22nd floor. He works in a beautiful suite decorated with many gorgeous, large pieces of modern art.  I enjoyed the spa-like atmosphere, sipping Pelligrino, as I filled out the paperwork. I was a little nervous, never imagining I'd find myself in a plastic surgeon's office. But Dr. Ellyassnia really put me at ease.

He has a very pleasant, easy-going manner. I had already done my research, polled my friends and family, and had decided to try whatever "injectables" he might recommend. He clearly explained my options and recommended Botox for my forehead, between my eyebrows (frown lines), and on the sides of my eyes (crow's feet) for the best results. He explained that it is important not to overdue the amount of Botox used on the forehead because paralysis of those muscles can make the eyebrows appear to drop or sag too low.  The many (20?) small injections he gave me targeted specific muscles to make them relax, by paralyzing them. It was hardly painful at all, just pricking sensations with an occasional sting, but very tolerable. Right after I did have a few bubbles under my skin around my outer eyes, but these subsided quickly.  I do think it took a day or two for the results to become more noticeable. And the only side effect I can describe would be a taut feeling in my forehead if I try and raise my eyebrows. My impression of myself after the Botox, was that a subtle, yet noticeable change had occurred. I appear more relaxed, less stressed out!

So that's the latest, much more to come. Back to Carmichael Salon tomorrow- I'm looking forward to seeing Russel, Tania and Mick.

Monday, February 21, 2011


It seems like our winners are getting ready to interview or already have.  Here are a few things to think about when putting together your outfit for an interview.


1.  Nothing too colorful or patterned
2.  Moderate looking shoes, no open toe sandals or heels that are really high
3.  Limited jewelry
4.  Neat hairstyle
5.  Sparse make-up
6.  Manicured nails - short and neutral is best
7.  Nice accessories - good watch, handbag, briefcase, belt
8.  Long sleeves are better than sleeveless
9.  Suits or a tailored jacket or sweater
10.  Everything in top condition


1.  Too many colors
2.  Bright colors
3.  Trendy items
4.  Outdated items
5.  Ill-fitting pieces
6.  Dirty or torn pieces
7.  Jewelry that gets in your way - long earrings, bracelets that jangle
8.  Look like you are going to an office not a party
9. Nothing too bare, don't show too much skin or cleavage

Good luck.

Updates on Fitness for All Three Women

This is Andrew Duffy, signing in. 

First off, Congrats to EVA!  Eva is our first success story, having landed not only interviews but a lovely job at a Marriott hotel in Oakland. 

Eva has lost almost ten pounds in just over a month.  With all the time she's been spending working that used to be free, she's had to adjust to her schedule to incorporate exercise. 

This week, Eva and I set new goals for exercise to accommodate her busier schedule: workout twice during the week, and twice on the weekends.

Her diet has been consistently good, which is why she continues to lose weight.  Eva is able to manage her portions well, especially when she's in situations where she can't control the content of the food she's having.  That skill alone is worth so much not only for weight loss but also for overall health.  So Eva is doing well. 

Pam is ALSO doing well.  Despite hamstring concerns that she had coming into the makeover, Pam is moving forward with her overall strength and balance.  Some of the balance exercises proved challenging for Pam at first, but she is making progress and becoming more aware of her already capable body.   Most recently, we spent some time outdoors working on some lateral running movements that would de-emphasize her hamstrings.  Here are some examples of what we did:

The Grapevine (carioca)
Side Shuffle

We also incorporated some PNF stretching (Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation) to help strengthen her right hamstring, which Pam felt helped her.  I'm looking forward to more of the PNF stretching next time!

Marilyn also continues to lose weight, despite a busy private schedule and a week of what she called "not so good with food". 

At her son's diabetes "camp" weekend, she stayed active with her son through sports and a variety of activities.  Past major injuries are always a concern when I work with Marilyn - we want to avoid aggravating anything.  I'm always cautious, but Marilyn is so ambitious and ready to progress to new and challenging things.  She's all about getting healthier!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Eva Shinn's Update

Wow  . . . last week was a whirl wind!  My week started out just like any other . . . with the very long mental list of things to do; maintaining my household inside and out, job hunting, my workouts, apartment/storage research, EDD workshops, and helping a cousin with her ill mother.  Sometimes life seems so very overwhelming, and hopeless. 

My meeting with Andrew Duffy this week focused on being committed to myself.  He has helped me to realize that no matter what is going on in my life, I need to fit in at least 45 minutes of exercise and stretches, four days a week and that by doing so, it will help me both physically and mentally (relieving stress).  Andrew made some additional suggestions to help me find time in my day to do my stretches and encouraged me to keep up the good work.  The eight pound weight loss is feeling great!
Working with Cynthia Fassler we also discovered I was very overwhelmed with the process of finding a job and we discussed ways to improve on making time during my busy days to focus on the job searching and rewriting my resume so that it better represented me.  At Cynthia’s suggestions, I cleaned up my resume, rearranged it to flow better, and added some very key information that would “pop” when read by a potential employer.  We also did some role playing and discussed ways to improve my interviews; asking myself some of the questions that would be asked of me and practicing with my responses. 
Then there’s the issue of my overall self-esteem. Russel Thompson and Tania Aragon with the Carmichael Salon have worked with me by changing my hair style to better frame my face and have added highlights and color to compliment my overall look; Tania helped me by showing me different ways to work with my hair and to see that all I needed to do is give it a bit more effort and my hair could look really great!   
Well, with all that said, I am very happy to announce that I have accepted a job offer!  I began my job over a week ago and am so very excited to be back to work.  As you can read in the previous posting, Cynthia was very instrumental in guiding me with the process of finding a job.  Her years of experience and knowledge in pursuing a job, helped me to organize my job search so that I could be more efficient and productive in looking instead of feeling frazzled and frustrated.  When you are competing with hundreds of potential applicants, being prepared and doing your research is very important.   
Winning this makeover has been a wonderful experience; working with Andrew, Russel and Cynthia has been so rewarding.  We have been given the tools to work with by all and it has been a fun and exciting experience, but it didn’t come without being committed and getting through a little homework with each visit.  Having wonderful professionals to stand by us, cheer us on and see the potential in each and every one of us has given us the strength to stand on our feet and to push forward.  

A simple “thank you” in my eyes is not enough to express the gratitude I have in my heart for making this possible. I look forward to completing this journey and meeting with the rest of the ORC team to complete my makeover.    

Eva's Job Hunting Plan

Eva has not worked a full time regular position since 2002. She has worked seasonal retail and part time accounting and administrative jobs to keep her going.  She realized that it was time for her to fully re-enter the work force after a family tragedy. When she started the process, she realized that looking for a job is a full time job in and of itself. She needed to plan out her strategy.

Eva sat down and started working with Cindy Fassler of TSS Total Staffing Solutions on her plan of attack.

It all starts with…..

1) Review your skills and assess your core strengths. Compile your core strengths list

2) Write at least 3 compelling resumes with 3 separate career objectives.

3) Set up your Job Hunting Journal.

4) Create your Job Seeking Plan

For Eva, she wanted to work in hospitality. She was doing her job search mostly at home on the internet. Eva would have multiple distractions with her kids calling and coming home while she was searching and responding to job postings.

To help her in her search, Cindy suggested that Eva set up the following 4 day a week job seeking plan. 

First thing every day of the plan is to eat a healthy breakfast and to get dressed in a nice pair of slacks and a shirt and to put on makeup. Don’t start your search in your sweats or jeans. You need to feel good about yourself.


- From home, research the companies that you are interested in working for. Go directly to their website to see if they have any openings.
- Check the posting boards.

- Go to the nearest library or coffee shop and write your cover letter, tailored to the posting you are responding too.
- Select 2 to 3 of the companies that you have researched that have openings on their Web site.
- Set up your drop offs geographically for your Tuesday morning personal resume drop offs.
- Finish your computer work; responding to online postings, printing any ads you responded to place in your journal.

- Prepare yourself for your personal resume drop offs.

Once that is done, head home and enjoys time with your family.


-Dress in interview attire
-Prepare for your personal resume drop off by putting your personal cover sheet and resume into an envelope arranged geographically
-Conduct your drop off between 9:30 and 11:00
- Head to the library and research new companies that you may not have thought of within your target industry.

- Follow up with a phone call or email on the resumes that you sent out last week.
Wednesday is just like Monday. Follow the same plan of attack only with new target companies.


-Dress in interview attire
-Prepare for your personal resume drop off by putting your personal cover sheet and resume into an envelope arranged geographically.
- Send personal notes regarding the resumes that were dropped off on Tuesday.

- Respond to any new job postings via email.

The goal here is to get out from behind the computer, by mixing up your job search with personal drop offs you stay engaged in your search.

You’re meeting new people

Remember to record all jobs you have responded to as well as personally dropped off your resume into your “Job Hunting Journal”. Also, note down the specific postings sites that you found the job listing on.

Once you’re invited in for an interview, be sure you do thorough research on the company and prepare your list of interviewing questions to bring with you to the physical interview. Be sure that you dress appropriately according to the industry. Print out and bring multiple copies of your resume. Make sure that they are not folded and on nice paper. 

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Marilyn Chelini

Greeting! My name is Sandy Hinojosa and I am a stylist at Carmichael Salon. I recently had the privilege of working with Marilyn Chelini on updating her hairstyle.

When I first met her, I was most impressed with her tenacious spirit and love of life. I knew exactly what I wanted to do! But I also wanted to hear her ideas and challenges about her hair. We agreed to bring up the length to just below the shoulders and lighten up her layers. This would create softness and movement on Marilyn's thick, wavy hair. We also wanted to grow her fringe into a sexy, side swept style. So I trimmed the fringe and removed some of the bulk in the front.

The first thing I did was to give Marilyn a mask at the shampoo bowl. I used Two Boys and A Girl Intensive Treatment Hair Mask which gave her hair resilience and shine while inparting strength. She also took this product home, along with a shampoo and conditioner that would allow her to continue the regime of strengthening her hair.

During the cut, we talked about about her challenges with styling. She said she wanted to recreate what I did.  I explained part of achieving and maintaining a great style was a good product and a great blow out. I used Redken's Align 12.  One of my favorite blow out lotions! It helps protect and adds smoothness to wavy texture. Perfect for her!

Marilyn's blow dry lesson. After drying 3/4 of her hair, I had Marilyn dry one side of her hair. As I watched, I coached her on the proper way to style and blow dry. When we were all done, I put on the finishing touches with Redken's Fashionworks 12, a versatile working spray and finisher. All our hard work paid off. Marliyn looked and felt fabulous! Plus...she could do this herself at home.

Marilyn's homework. I wanted her to practice styling her hair so that she could recreate this style for job interviews and special occasions.

I'm happy to say she came in a few weeks ago with nicely styled hair! She got an A+!

Good job Marilyn! :)

Pamela's Day of Beauty

Hello everyone, this is Tania Aragon, one of the stylists at Carmichael Salon, and I've been working with Pamela Mulvey. During our first consultation I discovered that she is very easy going and is a free spirit, and with that information I wanted to match her hair to her personality.

First, I started with her haircut, keeping the length and spicing up the layers, framing her face just right and then giving her some fringe which looks amazing on her. I also gave her some new styling tips so she can look professional for the business world, or "edgy" when she wants to go out for a night on the town.

When coloring Pamela's hair I deepened her all over color, giving it more tone and shine. I then gave her some subtle highlights, framing and complimented her face and her new haircut.

And to help give her eyes a further glow, I shaped and tinted her eyebrows. Beautiful!

I had so much fun working with Pamela and giving her a refreshing new look to help relauch her career, and look forward to seeing her again soon.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Pam's job search

Hi Everyone.

It's Pam with an update on my progress with Operation Relaunch Career. Since my meeting with Cynthia Fassler, I have spent the majority of my scheduled career search time honing my resume. When I emailed a copy to Cindy, she informed me that the formatting was pretty off (it made her eyes hurt!). Maybe this is at the root of why I haven't gotten any call backs for interviews. I'd been using text edit and I needed more word processing power so I downloaded some free software and resubmitted my resume to her, hopefully I am up to speed on this now! I have to laugh at myself for this one, but it really does demonstrate how critical feedback from others in the work force can be, especially seasoned professionals who know the competitive market.

I'm realizing that I need to improve how I present my self professionally on many levels (not something I spent a lot of time thinking about in my former life as a stay-at-home mom). Cindy is very helpful in this regard, and will coach me in preparation for interviews, etc.

I spoke with Andrew Duffy on the phone, regarding my workouts and we are going to focus on adding more cardio and cross-training next session. Getting the heart rate up and the endorphins flowing sounds great, and I intend to take advantage of the longer days as spring approaches.

As far as keeping to the schedule, honestly, I'd give myself a B-, and that's primarily because I had a task to do (ie - working on the resume), which I'm better at, than forcing myself to do the hard stuff, like cold calling people and dropping off resumes. Breaking my schedule down into smaller manageable units, setting smaller daily/weekly goals, and following daily to do lists is the next step.

So far, my experience with this Operation Relaunch Career makeover is different from the typical makeover one sees on TV, where there's this big "Ta-da" moment and voila the makeover contestant is exquisitely transformed. For me, it's a more subtle process.

Sure, changing things on the outside does add to one's confidence, but I'm noticing my confidence is growing more from the inside. It's amazing how the generous guidance of others we respect, who hold us accountable, can push us to accomplish more than we would on our own.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Week Three with Eva Shinn

I can’t believe it has been three weeks now working with the Operation Relaunch Career team.  My hair is looking great, my confidence level is building, and my pants are starting to feel a bit loose!  
I met with Russel Thompson of the Carmichael Salon, to have some color treatments added to my hair and I have to say . . . . I LOVE IT!  Russel took great care in making sure that it turned out exactly as we had discussed and I was very impressed by the way he knew exactly how to achieve this.  He is a true master when it comes to hair color.  After processing, Tania Aragon worked her magic once again and had me looking great by the time I left. 
Wednesday, I met with Andrew Duffy, reviewed my diet, discussed areas to improve on and worked through my assigned stretches from the previous week to ensure that I was doing them correctly.   I did not lose much weight this week,  but instead gained some stamina as I mixed up my walking routine with some jogging along with some core strengthening exercises and stretches. 

It was a very exhausting week, but well worth it.  I continue to work on self discipline and budgeting time to get my workouts in each and every day.   Having battled my weight most of my life I am determined to find some inner strength and energy to do this for me to improve on my overall self image.  After loosing 6 ½ pounds,  which at first didn’t seem like much until Russel compared it to a bag of dog food, I find myself standing taller and feeling more confident in my skin. 

Marilyn's 3rd week by MEC

Hi, Marilyn here. I will be turning 52 on Super Bowl Sunday - woooo hooo!!! I still think I'm 35 and can do anything. Working with Andrew has shown me I can get there (maybe not 35 but not 52!!!) again. I am so used to doing what ever I wanted, but I had let injuries and other life's challenges get the best of me. No More, I degree!!

My youngest son just turned 9. I am a "Football Mom." Maybe I'll never have the flexibility I had as a gymnast, but I can have a stronger core. After having 4 kids by c-section, my abs still have muscle under to excess flab. I am determined to get back to health, despite parts of my body ( chronic arthritis in my hands ) saying "nay." I really FEEL much younger and that is where I am most comfortable.

Thank you Andrew and the entire Operation Relaunch Career Team. I'm doing this for ME!!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Marilyn's Fitness Progress, Week 3

This is Andrew Duffy, signing in. 

This week's personal training session with Marilyn started emotional and finished strong.  Marilyn is a strong woman and often has a sassy attitude.  She has acknowledged that she wants to be more fit and lose some weight.  (Flashback to a previous blog entry: our goal weight loss is twenty to twenty-five pounds). But today, we tapped into the stream of emotions related to her body image that revealed a deeper discontent and concern for her health and well-being. 

Early in the session, Marilyn woefully compared her lack of fitness now to her hay day years ago.  She was a gymnast, and her metabolism was high.  She had a physical foundation and youth working for her.  Her recent injuries and physical obstacles have stifled her confidence about her body and physical abilities.

As she wiped the mascara away from her tearing eyes, I reassured her that positive change is coming. I thought, even though she's sustained some tough major injuries and surgeries in the last few years, even though she was sick and inactive last week, even though she's not at her goal...she's already lost close to five pounds.  
I just have to make sure that she sees what I see: that the effort she's putting in is already paying dividends, and her goal is achievable within months!  

Marilyn and I resumed training after an emotional start, and she jumped into it full force.  One of Marilyn's strength is her upper body ability.  One of her weaknesses is core strength and lower back posture.  So, after working on her strength, we worked on her core stability and posture with a plank.

With audio to help educate on her movement, here's a video on how to properly perform a plank, starring Marilyn:

She aced it, and we finished the session strong.

Andrew, Over and out.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Discipline and scheduling time

It's Pam again!

After my personal training session with Andrew Duffy, it was clear to me that I need to commit to a concrete schedule to stay on task with the training he is recommending if I want to make progress. It is really important to me in life and in my line of work to be physically fit, and I have learned over time that if I take care of my body, my mind and emotions are healthier as well. This is the critical foundation I need in order to move forward. I got one workout in this weekend and have scheduled two more next week.  I notice how some exercises are easier and fun, but some I hate (push-ups). I just try to push through my resistance.

On Friday, I met with Cynthia Fassler who is also generously donating her services as a job counselor, and I came away with the same message. I MUST schedule daily time for my job search. She recommended committing to a two hour time slot daily in which I focus completely on finding employment. And I can't just sit around in my sweats, I need to get dressed as if I were going out to network, put on lipstick, look the part. Maybe hit the library, network by calling and meeting with other professionals. I like her mix it up approach. We'll start by honing a resume that works, move on to a solid cover letter and start getting it out there with direct mail, cold calls and in-person drop-offs. She encouraged me to commit to this approach for 90 days. It is my priority to get a full-time position as an associate chiropractor in a clinic in the Bay Area.

It really helps to have the some outside encouragement and validation for change.  After being a "stay-at-home mom" for all these years, I have some deeply in-grained habits that boil down to taking care of everyone else's needs before my own. Now that I need to get back into the paid work force, it's time to break these habits and feel okay about putting my priorities for employment first. Even though the impending transformation to working mom is for the greater good of the family, there's definitely some resistance in all of us to changing the status quo. It's a challenge, but having back-up makes all the difference. Thanks for the support "dream team"!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Pam, Success, and Priorities

Hi everyone, this is Andrew Duffy, personal trainer.

I met with Pam yesterday at the BODYwork SF studio, and we had another great, productive session that shed some light on a few road bumps.

Coming in to the session, she had been able to perform the exercises less often than we had discussed. But, to her credit, she some great questions about the exercises that make up her home routine.  Although I gave her just six exercises, they are complex, and each exercise has several elements.  After a half-hour of sweat and elevated heart rate, Pam felt more comfortable with the exercises.

Here's one of the tough ones that Pam is performing at home:

This is a GREAT exercise, working major muscles in the legs, arms, core and shoulders.  The lateral/side lunge recruits muscles that are often overlooked in most exercises, and the balance component at the peak of the exercise challenges her stability as well.  Finally, notice how she's working out bare-foot: this allows for her feet to bend and stretch and for her foot muscles to do some work while the rest of her body works hard.

This is an intermediate level exercise that requires good proprioception, balance, and foundational strength.  It is also a testament to Pam's continuing devotion to yoga.


After reviewing the exercises, we sat down and discussed my concern of her time management.  We had talked about her performing the exercises on a regular basis, and I know she cares.  I know that her health is a priority for her.  But devoting time to improving it is a little difficult for her.  For a woman as level-headed as she is, I had to ask her about it, and what she told me was very helpful.   

Pam, like Eva and Marilyn, is so used to dedicating time, love, and resources to her children and her life obstacles that focusing on developing herself in any aspect is hard for her to do. 

So, Pam and I worked together on listing her priorities and setting up a plan for taking care of each priority.  For me and for my successful clients, this is the single most important element for successfully improving health, especially through diet and fitness.  As Pam learned, scheduling time for each component of a priorty (a "to-do list") is a great way to make sure that she effectively uses her time to accomplish what she needs to in every aspect of her life.  And that includes taking time for herself.

She's a full-time mother of four who is going through a divorce among many other things, and she has to find a job.  Staying healthy is hard, but it's doable and it's important for her well-being and happiness.  She knows that, and she's determined.  Pam's got spunk!

The prognosis for Pam remains very positive, and I am confident that our discussion about priority and planning helps her with more than just fitness.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

My first 3 weeks as a ORC contest winner

Hi!  My name is Pamela, and I have had the good fortune to be selected for a relaunch career make-over! My sister Wendy nominated me without my knowledge, so you can imagine the shock! But now I must say I am more in awe! Everyone I have meet through this project has been so supportive and generous. Good people with good intentions.

We are already three weeks into this process, and a lot has happened!

The press conference at the Huntington Hotel was very exciting. I'll never forget the three of us, Eva, Marilyn and I, standing on that chilly Nob Hill street corner, happy and hopeful, having our "before" pictures taken.

I have met with Andrew Duffy, the personal trainer, three times. His professionalism and knowledge base have truly impressed me.  He has targeted the areas where I need to build strength, and has quickly developed a program for me to follow at home. All I needed to get was a 55 cm. exercise ball and a few free weights, which is so doable... now I just have to do it, which I admit is easier with Andrew's encouragement.

I am also making some overdo changes to my diet (more fruits and veggies, less refined carbohydrates), and encouraging my kids to do the same. We joke, "What would Andrew say about eating that.."  This is my first experience working with a trainer, and I can really see the benefit of working closely with a professional who motivates you and keeps you on task. As a trainer, I find Andrew to be very holistic (which I appreciate), discussing not only strategies for diet/nutrition, but also setting priorities in life and time management.

My two visits to the Carmichael Salon have been really successful, first for cut and then for color. Tania Aragon has been a joy to work with!  She really listened and gave me exactly what I wanted. I chose to keep my hair shoulder length and layered, but I must be feeling more confident already because I'm wondering if I should go even shorter.

The second appointment for color was so incredible. I felt totally spoiled with color, highlights, and glazing. And she did a really nice flat iron styling; it lasted for days, which amazed me! I love how healthy my hair looks now. Russel, Mick, Tania and all the people I have met at the Carmichael Salon exude such warmth and kindness! Can't wait to go back.

So tomorrow, I meet with Cynthia Fassler, the job counselor,  to discuss my future.

 To be continued...

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Meeting with Eva, Week 3

Eva has put in the work on her diet yet again, losing another two pounds. 
One of our focuses this week is to maximize her time spent working out.  She is used to walking for about an hour to get some exercise, and today we discussed that she can effectively do the same amount or more work in a half hour of interval training, mixing in some jogging with walking.  This way, she'll have more time to work on flexibility and strength for a more comprehensive workout...all within an hour. 

We also added some core stability exercises that will compliment her stretches to improve her posture and better represent her building confidence.  Why?  Because when communicating with other people, whether it's during an interview or hanging out with friends, posture really does say a lot about how a person maintains and carries themself. 

Keep it up, Eva!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

My first two weeks as a winner of ORC

Hello, my name is Eva Shinn, and I was selected as one of the three winners of the Operation Relaunch Career contest.  I have to say that the past two weeks have been amazing.

I started my journey by meeting with the Carmichael Salon and working with their amazing staff.  I have received a haircut by Tania to reshape my "out of control" hair and bring it back to life!  Tania also showed me different ways to manage and work my own magic on my hair.   This week I will receive some hair color enhancements and I can't wait to see the final outcome.  Compliments are already coming my way!!!  And some confidence too!

I have also worked with Andrew Duffy, our personal trainer who again has been absolutely wonderful.  It's amazing what a bit of discipline, support and motivation in your life will do for you.  He has worked with me to get me on the right path with eating habits and exercise and I have to say . . . . I FEEL GREAT! 

A four pound loss in the first week and I'm very excited, motivated and ready to loose more!  I'm eating better, feeling better and can't wait for "weigh" in this week!  But most importantly, I am already starting to feel so much better; less stress, more energy and the confidence level is building.

Along with meeting with the Salon and Andrew, I have also had the opportunity to meet with job counselor, Cynthia Fassler, who has given me some direction with my resume and provided me with some tools to make life less stressful looking for a job; helping me to manage my days to lessen the overwhelming pressures and stress of looking for a job. 

Many thanks to all of you!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The First Two Weeks of Personal Training With the Winners

Our three contest winners, Marilyn, Pam, and Eva have such different stories, and I've found that they need my help in different ways.  But here's how I've helped these inspiring women lose over six pounds in one week:
Physically, Marilyn has gone through a lot in the last few years, including chemotherapy, a mastectomy, a surgery in an ankle to repair broken bones, and a broken arm.  That's a lot for the body to go through in a short period of time. But in two hours I've worked with her, she's shown me that she won't let those obstacles take her down.  She's a survivor, she's a warrior. 
Last week, during our consultation, she and I discussed the importance of adding vegetables and protein in her diet, and she has willingly obliged.  In one week, Marilyn has already lost two and a half pounds, thanks to dedication and follow through.  She admitted that hasn't been perfect, and that's ok.
In terms of exercise, we've added some cardiovascular work to not only help her her body feel better but also to help her psychologically feel better.  She has a lot on her plate, and I think that the last thing we need to do is overcomplicate her to-do list.  So, we've added a few effective stretches to help her regain her posture after her injuries along with some complimentary exercises that she is able to at home with little equipment. 
I have a good feeling that Marilyn will reach her goal of losing twenty-five pounds by the end of March.
When we first met for the initial assessment, Eva knew that she had to make some changes for her health, emphasizing that she needs to lose weight.  She said that she wants to feel confident in her body again.  Confidence is a MAJOR key in how we present ourselves, especially during job interviews, which is where this makoever project is focused.  So, we got down to brass tacs and agreed on a weight goal and plan to help her get there by the end of March.  Well, she is on a great pace to reach her weight loss goal of 20 pounds - has lost four pounds in one week after applying just a few diet tips in addition to walking daily.
Like most mothers, Eva has put her family before herself, and diet is one of the areas that she felt she's lost focus with.  So, we talked about better eating habits, including fresh vegetables and fruit every day, and eating smaller meals throughout the day.   

And, like Marilyn, she wasn't perfect with her diet.  I called Eva on Friday to wish her a happy birthday (we share a birthday, January 14th), and she was honest, telling me she had some cake and unhealthy foods.  But she applied some important concepts we had discussed: she controlled her portions, she made sure she had the healthy options at other meals during the week, and she made clear progress.  After all, she lost four pounds! 
Her walking frequency and length has also increased, and this week we added some stretches to help her relax.  Eva breaths with her shoulders (also known as "stress breathing", or using muscles that increase tension in the shoulders, chest an neck), a habit typical of anyone with high levels of stress.  So, we worked on relaxing her shoulders, breathing with the diaphram, and easing into stretches designed to release stress in her shoulders and neck.  We'll see how helpful the stretches and breathing tips are next week!
Pam is bit different than Eva and Marilyn.  During the movements assessments, she was impressive.  She has a very healthy bodyfat percentage and lean body that many of my clients try to achieve.  Her flexibility and core strength are excellent.  But she doesn't do any formal strength training or cardiovascular activity.  So, Pam needs to improve upon the exercise she is currently doing with new activity.
As a woman over fifty, lack of strength training and cardiovascular stimulus put Pam at risk for osteoporosis and diseased related to the blood, circulatory system, and lungs.  But Pam has really a solid foundation to work with.  So, we are focusing on developing for her a strength routine that includes complex and integrated exercises that pack both strength AND cardio training into one exercises, giving a real punch in a short amount of time.  After her second session, we've been able to build a challenging routine.
Pam also knows that her diet can improve with more fruits and veggies in place of processed foods.  (After talking with Eva, Marilyn, and Pam, I think it's fair to that mothers as a general rule eat less fruits and vegetables because their children don't like them.)
She comes off as very centered and able to manage any type of situation well.  As a yoga teacher and chiropractor, she knows a lot about the body and how to move. She is a great listener, and I know that she will be stronger and healthier in three months.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Winners Start Their Make Over

I first want to thank all that attended our winners party at the Huntington Hotel.  The venue was lovely and the staff at the Huntinton couldn't have been more accommodating.  The winners Eva Shinn, Pamela Mulvey and Marilyn Chelini were lovely and so gracious in sharing their experiences.  I think by putting this out in the press and the world we may inspire more men and women to step forward and ask for help. 

We also hope that more business professionals will contribute their time to the unemployed to help put them in a better position to be hired.
Eva and Pamela came in this week to start the hair part of their make over.  We consulted with them and came up with a long term plan for their hair.

Eva -  We reshaped her hair a little and are letting it grow in certain areas so that the overall look will be more flattering to her face shape.  We make a future appointment for her to have color.  We will be doing a light stain around her face to blend the grey hairs and adding highlights at eye level, in the fringe and jaw area.  These will be stategically placed to soften the strongness of her jaw and bring attention to her beautiful brown eyes.

Pamela - We brought of the length of her hair and did some invisible layers to give more volume to the shape to accomadate her long thin face and bring out her best features.  She left with a haircolor appointment....more to be revealed....

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

A Great Beginning to a Healthy New Year

Hi everyone!

This is Andrew Duffy PES, and I will be working with the three winning contestants on their fitness and diet for the next twelve weeks.  I am excited to be apart of Operation Relaunch Career (ORC), and I am AMPED to help our winners grow healthier and happier.  You can bet that there will be some great positive change in the next twelve weeks!

I hope to see everyone on Thursday at the Central Pacific Room at the Big 4/Huntington Hotel on Thursday 1/6 at noon. 

In health,

Monday, January 3, 2011

Winners announced.

Winners of Operation Relaunch Career to be announced at our press party on January 6th.  The party will be at the Huntington Hotel atop Nob Hill in San Francisco.  Come for lunch  between 12:00 and 1:00 and meet the winners.